Not Your Mother’s Smock

The “Hairdresser’s Apron” got finished and sent.

It was a work of love. A friend’s special request for her granddaughter who has just completed “Beauty School”. The young girls starting out where she lives are wearing these custom apron, rather than a smock.

The whole pattern was enlarged from a child’s size 4 pinafore to a size that would fit a grown girl size 6.
Polka-dots everywhere…
The custom ruffle was hand-hemmed on both edges (not using a special foot, turning twice by hand as it went through the pressure foot).
It looks finished and neat on either inside or outside of  the garment..
Another layer of hand-hemming was done along the outer edge of the garment before attaching the ruffle..
There was an issue attaching the bow tie, as it was a deviation from the original pattern, as was the large ruffle around the outer edge. The pattern called for a ribbon tie and a small, purchased ruffle trim.

The little embroidery-like stitches were done by machine. Though the machine is over 40 years old, little disks came with it to use for creating novel stitches. The disk has shapes that cause the needle to move in patterns.

Before the final tie for the back was made, Ms. SpoolTeacher recruited her sister to put on some striped stockings to go with her pink and gray cowboy boots and model the apron out in the (very messy) yard. It was hard to get a shot that omitted the periphery enough to include.

Ms. SpoolTeacher’s friend was very happy, her comment was, “I don’t like it…..I love it.” Ms. SpoolTeacher had to catch her breath during the lull. Funny friend. She also said, “Wasn’t there any thing else you could have added to it?” Funny lady.

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Egyptian Cotton Pillowcase Curtain

While she was Spooling,
a sunflower was displaying it’s glory!

One of her favorite friends has been laid up for what seems like a month of Sunday’s with a back injury. Recently, she had a procedure that has helped relieve the pain and has been able to sit up without horror.

Ms. SpoolTeacher checks in on her from time to time and has been recruited to do “Cleaning Lady” duty by her family. She spends an hour or two there every Wednesday. This last time, Dear Friend said, “I want you to make a little curtain for the bathroom window.”

And, quite frankly, it wasn’t the first time she had said those words. (Ms. ST is a little behind)

Ms. ST asked her if she would want it plain or patterned?

“Plain I think. I like the color of wheat, like the wicker chair…

and, I like yellow, orange and brown.” All the while she was pointing to the picture ahead of her…

So, of course Ms. ST’s mind spools started turning….

What did she have in that color scheme in her stash of wonderful things back at resource central?

It was Sunday, after donuts at Church and she hadn’t eaten lunch but the spools were getting the best of her so she dashed home and started rummaging through fabrics and things, looking for the pieces to the spool puzzle.

She found a color she really liked in an Egyptian cotton pillowcase she had never really liked. She split it open and realized it was the exact size she would need to make the width and length and it already had a hem on one end and no seam in the middle.

Then she went to trims and embellishments to see how she could add the other colors in a fanciful way that would be a simple, un-frilly, and a southwesty kind of look… because Dear Friend is a southwesty kind of lady, (she used to be a rancher).

She pulled two colors of notion trims, one satin with a sheen and one matte. She would make a geometric pattern. She found the center and started measuring off three inch intervals three inches apart (squares, so to speak) and then drew diagonal lines to connect them…

“I like the color of wheat.”

She laid the trim on the outside of the line and began spooling, turning, spooling….

Then she did the other side of that trim and started laying on the orange satin ribbon and spooling it in place, top and bottom too…

She ended up bordering it on the top with a wide row of brown grosgrain ribbon and yellow and orange polka dot narrow ribbon on the bottom…

She decided she would get Dear Friend‘s approval before proceeding because she could just as easily turn it into another apron should she disapprove…

Dear Friend

Dear Friend was very happy and said that she liked it a lot.

So Ms. SpoolTeacher took it back home to finish it off…

Additional embellishments seemed to be requesting to be added; little satin roses at the intersections along the bottom, but where were those little satin roses from 25 years ago when she was making walnut critters (she’ll show you someday, it was her first business enterprise, so to speak)…?

After looking over them several times and scouring the house from one end to the other…

…she lovingly hand-spooled each one into place, alternating multi-colors in a sequence.

A tension rod stretched the width of the window and tightened in and voila!

Dear Friend was very happy.

Painting by her mother of Dear Friend and her little puppy in a tub when she was little

Little Red-Haired Girl got a tub of her own to go “schwimmin” in.

I don’t feel like schwimmin yet!

LRHG heads right for the tub after their long walks around the neighborhood, her feet are hot from trotting. She stops at puddles too. Ms. SpoolTeacher is seriously planning to make her some little shoes…

A.L.B.O.E. (a little bit of everything)

 

While She Was Spooling a Vintage Tablecloth Apron

A sunflower in the making.

Outside while she spools around, a sunflower is in the making.

Ms. SpoolTeacher has a sign in the front of her house welcoming passers-by to inquire about services she provides. Among them is, of course, Spooling and Alterations.

Lately one of her neighbors called asking her if she would make up some aprons from vintage  fabric tableclothes.

She informed Ms. ST that they are hot properties and everyone wants one.

The neighbor has a good job that she goes to everyday but also has a space at an “antiques and collectibles” shop that she is trying to develop for her retirement.

Ms. SpoolTeacher would love, love, love to be able to sit and spool aprons all day. But there is a problem…

“Well, let me ask you a question. How much are these aprons selling for?”

“Oh, gosh”, the lady replied, “they are selling for $30!” (as if that is a lot of money.)

“The problem is”, she said to nice neighbor, “I see aprons for sale all over for as little as $6 – $15.”

“Oh, but these are very well made and unique.”

“Oh”, Ms. SpoolTeacher said.

“Here’s the problems”, she said as nicely as she could… “It would take me, at a minimum, three hours to make an apron of any sort. I have to charge at least $10 p/h for my labor. How could that be profitable for you?”

She waited with bated breath…

“Three hours! Why would it take you that long?” (the all too familiar refrain Ms. SpoolTeacher has heard for decades)

She wanted to ask nice neighbor if she already had the aprons designed, cut and ready to stitch. If she has all the thread and finishing notions purchased. Then she wanted to ask her if she had looked into China for cheap labor or if she would be willing to hire illegal aliens!

She didn’t though. She went on to talk to nice neighbor for about an hour, because nice neighbor realized she knew who Ms. SpoolTeacher was and remembered her shop…

“I always wanted to stop in and see what that little shop was all about. It looked so unique and wonderful from the window at night as I was driving by.”

“Hmmm”, Ms. SpoolTeacher said in her mind.

For many years, Ms. SpoolTeacher herself has haunted antiques and collectible’s shops. She even had a space in one at one time but realized it is all about Real Estate, and that seldom do the vendors actually create a living for themselves. But she did manage to hoard a collection of things that were worth more than they were asking for. This has long been her way of saving for the future, thinking that another day along her Road Less Traveled, she will have a shop again and sell these treasures for what they are really worth, along with her labor in the form of an already “very well made up and unique” apron from a vintage table cloth…

cut in four squares

Voila! In a mere two or three days of here and there hours, upon hours of designing, planning, measuring, cutting, stitching…

It shall remain in her repertoire of things she can teach others to make unless someone is willing to pay $200 or more for the labor and it’s intrinsic value.

It’s not enough to make things once…

It’s not enough to make things once… Ms. SpoolTeacher has a bad habit of making little wrong assumptions against her better intuitive judgement.

She originally made this little “Springing From The Hem” apron and hadn’t yet made the belt to slip through the waistband gather-able casing. She had been using a belt to show it’s capabilities. Finally, lately, she took a length of green plaid cotton and married it to a width of red gingham, wide bias tape to make a “drawstring” for the waist. Well…what was she thinking! She had to make it again to make it long enough…

Long enough now! (oh look at those great coffee drops)

Shame, shame, coffee stain! Time for Paint Monster to emerge again.

And as one of her motto’s says, “No Scrap Left UnSpooled”

So what do you suppose she can do with these…???
Go over and see what Mary Adams does with her scraps… and then let her know what you do with yours.

And isn’t that a beautiful purple lovingly crocheted doily Mrs. Diaz made and then gave to Ms. SpoolTeacher!

Twinkie, Twinkie, little star, that is what you are.

Cupcake, muffin, doughnut…are secret words for those who know, Ms. SpoolTeacher’s secret club words…

You know who you are don’t you?